A few generations back, kids were supposed to stay quiet and out of the way.
Later, they became more a part of the fabric of society, but if they got noisy or demanding, they were labeled irritating, troubled, bratty and difficult.
Adults often felt their children’s “misbehavior” was an assault on them personally, as if the kids were doing their best to make the life of their parents as difficult as possible! (Oh wait, does this still happen?)
Seeing this evolution through the eyes of Real Love principles, what is the real label for kids who are being a nuisance? Loud? In your face? Whining?
Dr. Baer says it is clearly the behavior of a child who isn’t feeling unconditionally loved; they feel empty and afraid and alone in the world.
So knowing this, (and I whole heartedly believe it is true), how would changing the label we might mentally be giving a child who is interrupting our schedule or being “irritating” in the myriad of ways kids (and adults) can find to be royally demanding?
If instead of labeling him by thinking, “This kid is a brat,” what if instead we asked the question, “How can I show love and acceptance to this child so that I can teach him an appropriate way of behaving?”
If we show “love” with our attention and praise when kids are doing exactly what we want them to do, there is an exchange rate, or a condition placed on their behavior and therefore on our “love”. What we give them becomes conditional, based on them doing what we want; what makes us look good; what keeps the peace; what doesn’t require more attention and energy than we want or have to give.
And what about when they are being rude or disobedient or mean to a sibling? Do we just let them off the hook in the name of unconditional love?
The point we have to learn and get straight in our minds is this:
When kids show us they need correction, they are asking to be loved and taught…and reacting with irritation and anger does neither one!
We seem to think that part of their consequence must be a show of our disappointment! But. It. Never. Helps.
Being reactive with irritation and anger, only confirms their feeling of being afraid and alone! (It also confirms that you are feeling afraid and alone.)
We can, in fact we can only, love and teach and hold them 100% responsible, without anger.
Real Love isn’t about becoming permissive parents! It is about becoming loving parents who teach.
It’s about becoming full and loved and happy ourselves, so that we can see our children more clearly and give them (because we have some to give) our unconditional love, the very thing they cannot survive well without!
Holy Moses, we’ve all got work to do.
Love is the motivation and home is our practice field.
God bless us, every one!
The mission of Lioness at the Door is to uplift, strengthen and encourage women of all ages to magnify health, hope and happiness at home. We do so boldly, with humility and gratitude for the opportunity.